Friday, February 12, 2016

The Huguenot cross

The Huguenot cross is a Christian religious symbol originating in France and is one of the more recognizable and popular symbols of the evangelical reformed faith.

It is sometimes asserted that the cross appeared for the first time during the Huguenot Wars (1562-1598) in the South of France.

The symbolism of the Huguenot cross is particularly rich.

  • The cross as an eminent symbol of the Christian faith, represents not only the death of Christ but also victory over death and impiety. This is represented also in the Maltese Cross.
  • It is boutonnĂ©, the eight points symbolizing the eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12)
  • Between the arms of the cross is the stylized fleur-de-lys (on the French Coat of Arms), each has 3 petals; the total of twelve petals of the fleur-de-lys signify the twelve apostles. Between each fleur-de-lys and the arms of the Maltese Cross with which it is joined, an open space in the form of a heart, the symbol of loyalty, suggests the seal of the French Reformer, John Calvin.
  • The pendant dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16).In times of persecution a pearl, symbolizing a teardrop, replaced the dove.

The elements of the Huguenot cross mirrored those of the cross of the 1578 Order of the Holy Spirit, the senior chivalric order of France by precedence.

 

Daily Readings for February 12, 2016

Ezekiel 18:1-4, 18:25-32
The word of the LORD came to me: What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, "The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge"? As I live, says the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die. Yet you say, "The way of the Lord is unfair." Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, "The way of the Lord is unfair." O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord GOD. Turn, then, and live.


Philippians 4:1-9
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.


John 17:9-19
I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.


Psalm 31 In te, Domine, speravi
1   In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
2   Incline your ear to me; make haste to deliver me.
3   Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold; for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.
4   Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, for you are my tower of strength.
5   Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O LORD, O God of truth.
6   I hate those who cling to worthless idols, and I put my trust in the LORD.
7   I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy; for you have seen my affliction; you know my distress.
8   You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy; you have set my feet in an open place.
9   Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.
10   For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.
11   I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12   I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am as useless as a broken pot.
13   For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.
14   But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. I have said, "You are my God.
15   My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
16   Make your face to shine upon your servant, and in your loving-kindness save me."
17   LORD, let me not be ashamed for having called upon you; rather, let the wicked be put to shame; let them be silent in the grave.
18   Let the lying lips be silenced which speak against the righteous, haughtily, disdainfully, and with contempt.
19   How great is your goodness, O LORD! which you have laid up for those who fear you; which you have done in the sight of all for those who put their trust in you.
20   You hide them in the covert of your presence from those who slander them; you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21   Blessed be the LORD! for he has shown me the wonders of his love in a besieged city.
22   Yet I said in my alarm, "I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes." Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty when I cried out to you.
23   Love the LORD, all you who worship him; the LORD protects the faithful, but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
24   Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD.


Psalm 35 Judica, Domine
1   Fight those who fight me, O LORD; attack those who are attacking me.
2   Take up shield and armor and rise up to help me.
3   Draw the sword and bar the way against those who pursue me; say to my soul, "I am your salvation."
4   Let those who seek after my life be shamed and humbled; let those who plot my ruin fall back and be dismayed.
5   Let them be like chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the LORD drive them away.
6   Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the LORD pursue them.
7   For they have secretly spread a net for me without a cause; without a cause they have dug a pit to take me alive.
8   Let ruin come upon them unawares; let them be caught in the net they hid; let them fall into the pit they dug.
9   Then I will be joyful in the LORD; I will glory in his victory.
10   My very bones will say, "LORD, who is like you? You deliver the poor from those who are too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them."
11   Malicious witnesses rise up against me; they charge me with matters I know nothing about.
12   They pay me evil in exchange for good; my soul is full of despair.
13   But when they were sick I dressed in sack-cloth and humbled myself by fasting.
14   I prayed with my whole heart, as one would for a friend or a brother; I behaved like one who mourns for his mother, bowed down and grieving.
15   But when I stumbled, they were glad and gathered together; they gathered against me; strangers whom I did not know tore me to pieces and would not stop.
16   They put me to the test and mocked me; they gnashed at me with their teeth.
17   O Lord, how long will you look on? rescue me from the roaring beasts, and my life from the young lions.
18   I will give you thanks in the great congregation; I will praise you in the mighty throng.
19   Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me, nor let those who hate me without a cause wink at each other.
20   For they do not plan for peace, but invent deceitful schemes against the quiet in the land.
21   They opened their mouths at me and said, "Aha! we saw it with our own eyes."
22   You saw it, O LORD; do not be silent; O Lord, be not far from me.
23   Awake, arise, to my cause! to my defense, my God and my Lord!
24   Give me justice, O LORD my God, according to your righteousness; do not let them triumph over me.
25   Do not let them say in their hearts, "Aha! just what we want!" Do not let them say, "We have swallowed him up."
26   Let all who rejoice at my ruin be ashamed and disgraced; let those who boast against me be clothed with dismay and shame.
27   Let those who favor my cause sing out with joy and be glad; let them say always, "Great is the LORD, who desires the prosperity of his servant."
28   And my tongue shall be talking of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.

Meditation for February 12, 2016

Philippians 4:8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I have a relative who disagrees with me on almost every vital point. We are both Christians. We both want the New Orleans Saints to win football games. That’s about it in terms of subjects on which we can agree. We handle our differences by being absurdly careful to avoid divisive subjects. Yet this woman has lived a better life than almost anyone I know. She took care of her siblings after her father died. She is a kind, devoted parent and spouse. She cared for her aging mother for many years. While I could pull out a newspaper and point randomly, and 95 percent of the time, I would hit a subject that we should avoid, I also am honored to use her as a role model. We love each other, and our values really aren’t all that different.

Whenever we are tempted to give up on “the other side” as hopeless, it is useful to remember that the other side, whatever it is, is made up of people—many of whom are very admirable.